CONGRESSWOMAN ANGIE CRAIG VOTES FOR COVID-19 RELIEF PACKAGE

Heroes Act Gets Strong Support from Second District Small Businesses, Sheriffs, Mayors, County Commissioners and Family Farmers
May 15, 2020
Press Release

Today, U.S. Rep. Angie Craig, at the request of a broad range of her constituents in the Second District below, voted in support of the Heroes Act, which would inject flexibility into the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses, support family farmers and give cities and counties direct funding so they can continue to serve their communities.

Rep. Craig has spent the last several weeks meeting with small business and restaurant owners, mayors and county commissioners, law enforcement, health care workers and nonprofits. While not in agreement with everything included in the House bill, she voted for the overall package to help address the needs of Second District communities - an urgency she hears reflected each day in her conversations with constituents. She now encourages the U.S. Senate to bring forward the House bill or introduce its own, so the Congress can get the much-needed help to the President’s desk.

“I stand with every Main Street business, city, county, family farmer and frontline worker. Our businesses and local communities can’t wait any longer for this to get done or sit and wait on a perfect bill,” said Rep. Angie Craig. “I’ll continue to encourage Democrats and Republicans to put politics aside and work together on behalf of our first responders, our local communities and the small businesses that need help the most from a strong federal response.”

The Heroes Act includes:

  • Rep. Craig’s bipartisan bill, the All Dependent Children Count Act, which allows all families who claim dependents to finally get the economic relief payments that they deserve. The CARES Act needlessly left out millions of struggling families with older children and disabled dependents.
  • Critical direct payments for our counties, cities and towns in the Second District, which Rep. Craig has been fighting for with the support of 47 mayors and county commissioners in the district. 
  • Flexibility to the Paycheck Protection Program that extends the window for PPP loan money to be spent extended to December 31, eliminates burdensome regulations around how the money can be spent and extends the amount of time businesses have to pay back their loans, which will especially help restaurant owners and retail stores.
  • Support for biofuels, increasing farm stress program support and providing direct payments to family farmers impacted by COVID-19 as well as funding for animal disease prevention.

Support for the Heroes Act across the Second District:

"Operating a brewery is a capital-intensive business, and the way the PPP loan was structured made it difficult for businesses like mine to fully access the funds we need to survive this difficult time. The flexibility in the HEROES act will let our business get help in a way that makes sense for us, and I’m glad Angie is voting yes on it," said Amy Fox, Owner of Spiral Brewery.

"The way that the Paycheck Protection Program was originally structured left a lot of restaurant owners behind - myself included. The increased flexibility in the HEROES Act, including getting rid of the requirement that 75% of money be spent on payroll and extending out the timeline for returning to 100 percent pre-pandemic payroll to the end of the year, are a needed lifeline for businesses trying to survive right now," Lisa Nasseff, Resident of Mendota Heights and Owner of Joseph’s Grill.

“Our area has suffered greatly as a result of the shutdown. Our inability to operate these past many weeks has hurt us tremendously in both an economic and emotional manner. Providing necessary funds to Wabasha County would enable people to know that they have not been forgotten in this pandemic and provide support for all of us in returning to our lives. As a result of cutbacks all around us, funding for cities like Kellogg and Wabasha and for the county will encourage people to resume their business habits,” said Kathy and Ron Gray, Miranda and Scott Gray-Burlingame, Owners of Lark Toys, Kellogg, MN.

“Minnesota’s corn farmers greatly appreciate the inclusion of the Renewable Fuel Reimbursement Program in the HEROES Act, providing much-needed relief to an industry that has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For corn farmers like myself, the provision would help stabilize what remains one of our largest customers and a vital contributor to our rural communities. We look forward to passage of the HEROES Act, and the subsequent relief benefitting Minnesota’s ag sector,” said Minnesota Corn Growers Association President, Les Anderson of Cannon Falls.

“There is no doubt that as a result of the impact of Covid-19, our counties are suffering greatly. It has reached into our work in our sheriff departments and with the potential for seriously impacting the services and security we provide. We need to sustain our forces and the important work we are doing. The Heroes Act is a necessity for us at this time,” said Scott County Sheriff Luke Hennen and Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie.

“As a result of serious budgetary issues resulting from Covid-19, we have had to begin furloughing staff and reducing services. The Heroes Act would greatly assist us in this difficult time and sustain South St. Paul at this critical moment in time,” said Mayor of South St. Paul, Jimmy Francis.

“A federal relief package with direct aid for cities would help Northfield and other communities in our nation recover from revenue shortfalls, and ensure that we’re able to continue providing the vital services our residents need.  I appreciate the House’s efforts to find a way forward to provide the necessary economic assistance for our nation to not just survive but thrive,” said Mayor of Northfield, Rhonda Pownell.

“While not perfect, the HEROES Act would provide needed financial relief to the city and citizens of Prior Lake that will be essential to our recovery from the devastating economic impact of the pandemic,” said Mayor of Prior Lake Kirt Briggs.

“Scott County and its local jurisdictions have been left out of federal coronavirus relief packages. With the passing of the HEROES Act, Scott County would receive the financial assistance it needs to help citizens during a difficult time,” said Scott County Commissioner Barb Weckman Brekke.

“It is extremely important for Goodhue County, and for the cities and townships within it, for additional Federal support and dollars to sustain us moving forward as a result of this horrific pandemic. Access to federal support is an issue of equity and is even more important, in many cases, because of our size and needs,” said Goodhue County Board Chair Paul Drotos.